The latest issue of On Spec is out, featuring my very short story ‘The Opportunity Costs of Adventure: Unsent Emails from Stephen Greenwood’s Drafts Folder’. Did you ever wonder what it does to your career when you keep running off to save the world? Dr Greenwood (last seen in The Journal of Unlikely Academia‘s ‘Soteriology and Stephen Greenwood’) would really like to tell you! However, he’s not going to, because nothing ruins a reputation faster than emailing a professional mailing list about apocalypse and ancient prophecy. Maybe he’ll just save that email to Drafts.
I am very late to this, but I see Issue #110 Vol. 29 No.3-4 of On Spec came out in April with a piece by me – well, really a collection of very short pieces called ‘The Care and Conservation of Unusual Properties’.
Contains library deep-cleaning, inventory marking, dusting, volunteer incentive issues and very large spiders! This collection was once accused of being postmodern, which surprised me, because I thought of it as a reasonably accurate transcription of several monologues someone rather like me was once on the nodding side of.
Well, fairly accurate. I guess no one said anything about a dragon.
Nothing comes from nothing; this is the cornerstone of all truth. The plague of Thucydides comes from Ethiopia; that of Procopius from Egypt; that of Boccaccio is sea-swept from the dawn toward the setting sun. Virgil’s descends from a diseased sky. Is it the East? Is it our malignant star? Is it the baneful air flying out of a foreign quarter of the heavens?
No: it is a manifestation. It is a sign.
Well, all right: plagues and plague-tropes. As my bio for this one says, I’m trying to give up plagues. Maybe that should be a new year’s resolution.
TOC, aka Other Stories You Should Read:
In The Beginning, All Our Hands Are Cold by Ephiny Gale
Mother Imago by Henry Stanton
When We Sleep We Kill The World by Adam Lock
The Fox, Expatriate by Emily Horner
Milk Teeth And Heartwood by Katherine McMahon
High, High Away by Hamilton Perez
Tales Without Fairies by Matthew F. Amati
The Spinnings by Rob Francis
I have a piece of drowned-town flash up at Unsung Stories: The Girl who Talked to the Sea.
The first storm hit Eccles-on-Sea on Jenny’s fourteenth birthday. She lay curled up counting her cold toes while the wind battered the roof tiles and knocked the bells about in the grey church steeple. Rain splattered against the shutters like a cat trying to claw its way inside. Shivering, Jenny pulled her blankets over her head and squeezed her eyes shut against the dark.
I find drowned towns creepy and fascinating, and although the drowned towns along the Norfolk coastline aren’t as dramatic as Helike, there’s a lot to be said for walking along grey beaches listening out for the church bells tolling under the sea.